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No Justification for Tasmanian Coal Mining in Climate Emergency

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Tags: Climate Change, Coal, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Mining spokesperson

In an age of climate emergency, any government that enables coal mining is committing a crime against nature and future generations.

The Liberals are funding a coal mining business to conduct exploratory drilling for fossil fuels that scientists are telling us have to stay in the ground.

We are in a climate emergency, and there is absolutely no excuse for opening up new thermal coal mines.

Just last week, both the Liberal and Labor parties were crowing about Tasmania’s progress towards being 100% renewable.

They can’t have it both ways. We’re either a clean, green, renewable state, or we’re not.

Extracting and exporting coal for use in antiquated coal fired power plants is unjustifiable, and undermines all the work Tasmanians have done over the years to create a renewable State.

The proposal is to export up to 3 million tonnes of coal each year. By our estimate, the combustion of 3 million tonnes of thermal coal results in roughly 7.14 megatonnes of C02 in to the atmosphere our children will inherit, each year of its operation.

Excluding our land use and forestry sectors, Tasmania’s emissions in 2017 were 8.46 megatonnes of C02 equivalent.

The opening of more coal mining in Tasmania could see us effectively almost double the amount of emissions for which we are ultimately responsible.

This is not the legacy we want to leave the young Tasmanians who marched in their tens of thousands on 20 September.

They are demanding that coal be left in the ground. No responsible government should be facilitating coal extraction for dirty power.

To do so is another slap in the face for young people who are demanding climate action now